Directory of Organizations

NATIONAL

EPIC International (Formerly Community Performance International)
www.communityperformanceinternational.org

Epic International’s mission is to grow strong communities, through collecting its most valuable assets — its stories — and examining those stories through the process of values training and community performance.  The outcome of this process is a newly discovered identity which creates community attachment – an essential component of economic and community development.  We are committed to empowering individuals, cultivating communicative agency, building relationships across diverse citizenry and producing high performance groups.  Values and Stories are sought through reverent listening and to promote connection, respect, acceptance, inclusion and collaboration while honoring history and tradition.

The Possibility Project
www.the-possibility-project.org
We empower teenagers to create safe, peaceful, and productive lives and communities. Using the performing arts and community action as vehicles, The Possibility Project aims to develop the next generation of engaged community leaders.

AUSTIN, TX

Conspire Theatre
conspiretheatre.wordpress.com
Our mission is to offer marginalized women a healing and empowering experience through the creative mediums of theatre and writing.  Our mission is accomplished through:

  • Workshops incorporating games and play
  • Original writing (poetry, stories, monologues, songs, plays)
  • Communication skills training
  • Teamwork skills training
  • Self-esteem building activities such as acting, dance, movement, mime, monologue, dramatic interpretation, and character development.

Grrl Action
www.grrlaction.org
Grrl Action’s mission is to help teenage girls find voice and vision through the power of performance.  We see teenage girls realizing their potential as artists, critical thinkers and powerful role models.

Theatre Action Project
www.theatreactionproject.org

Theatre Action Project is a team of professionally trained artists and educators that work in partnership with schools and communities to lead unique and engaging arts programs which allow young people to learn critical life skills, gain tools for creative expression, and have successful experiences that build self-esteem and confidence.

BOSTON, MA

Mesa Sin Fronteras
http://www.mesasinfronteras.org/
The core of MESA is in creating a space, in a world that is coming apart at the seams, for the coming together of people over a meal. The heart of this process is in sharing an experience of home, hope, and a community that connects us together in a process of positive transformation, encouraging a world with no borders, wars, prisons, or shackles of mind or soul.

Transforming Conflict
http://www.transformingconflict.net/
Participatory workshops on ways of creatively and collectively responding to conflict.

True Story Theater
http://www.truestorytheater.org/
A nonprofit ensemble based in the Boston area, we use theater for community development and social healing. Our work is primarily based on a form of improvisation called Playback Theatre, now seen in over 50 countries around the world. We perform and offer training locally and nationally. We have worked with teen leaders, ex-prisoners, hospices, churches, federal employees, businesses, philanthropists, and many others.

CHICAGO, IL

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater
http://deeplyrootedproductions.org/

Rooted in African-American traditions of storytelling and universal themes in contemporary modern dance, Chicago’s Deeply Rooted Dance Theater performs world class dance that entertains, inspires, and builds community.

Free Street Theatre
www.freestreet.org

Free Street Theater teaches acting and writing skills to youth so they can open their potential to be creative, active participants in their own lives.  Since 1969, Free Street Theater has been creating original performances to inspire new artists and new audiences.


NeuroKitchen Arts Collective
www.neurokitchen.org
The NeuroKitchen Arts Collective is a new ensemble focused on developing young artists.  They are “artistically becoming self-actualized people and growing an ever widening circle of collective intelligence.” Just a brief excerpt from their vision:
“We are a collective of youth and experienced artists who strive to transcend the status quo. We are a collective of artists who are involved in running all aspects of our organization. We believe developing virtuoso artists develops virtuoso human beings.”

DENVER, CO

Gratis Studio
www.gratisstudio.org

Gratis Studio makes a positive difference in the lives of young people. Gratis mentors youth to realize their highest potential to become confident, capable, and socially responsible individuals. Our program advances the study, appreciation, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts, while igniting the imagination, encouraging self-expression, and creating opportunities in the
community for young artists.

Art from Ashes
www.artfromashes.org

The Mission of Art from Ashes is to empower struggling youth by providing creative programs that facilitate health and hope through expression, connection and transformation.

IOWA CITY, IA

Crossing Borders
http://www.crossingborders.us/
Crossingborders.us tells stories of our changing neighborhoods, the movement of people between Chicago and Iowa City, and the creation of the “southeast side.”

Working Group Theater
http://www.workinggrouptheatre.org/WGT/Home.html
Working Group Theater creates original plays and events in collaboration with actors, directors, playwrights, and community partners.  We tell stories that matter to us, to the communities where we live and work, and to the world we are moving through.  We love to change the space where our work is performed in unexpected ways, either seeking out non-theatrical spaces and staging plays there, or redefining the space of an existing theater.

LOS ANGELES, CA

Art Share Los Angeles
artsharela.org
At the intersection of arts and culture, community development and education, Art Share Los Angeles, Inc. is: (a) community based arts learning destination whose mission is to change lives in underprivileged neighborhoods; and (b) community based incubator for local emerging and established artists whose mission is providing both safe shelter and workplace to exhibit and perform.

Casa 0101
www.casa0101.org
Through storytelling and theater and other art forms Casa 0101 is committed to exploring the world and oneself, the good and the bad, the light and the darkness of our soul and our world to the point where there are no borders and “0” and “1” are one.

Cornerstone Theater Company
www.cornerstonetheater.org

Cornerstone Theater Company is a multi-ethnic, ensemble-based theater company. We commission and produce new plays, both original works and contemporary adaptations of classics, which combine the artistry of professional and community collaborators. By making theater with and for people of many ages, cultures and levels of theatrical experience, Cornerstone builds bridges between and within diverse communities in our home city of Los Angeles and nationwide.

Great Leap
www.greatleap.org
Great Leap, Inc., is a Los Angeles-based, multicultural arts organization which uses art as both performance and creative practice to deepen relations among people of diverse cultures and faiths and to transform how we live on the earth.   We collaborate and create with professional artists, foster new leadership in the arts by mentoring emerging artists, and build community through our workshops, residencies and performances.

Teatro ChUSMA
www.teatrochusma.com
Los Angeles-based ChUSMA Theater Company has a long history of community involvement in underserved communities. The company combines history, current events and oral traditions with modern technology in procreating theater reflective of their communities, and as a tool to educate, empower, motivate and expose underserved communities to the arts from the Pacific Rim via Southern California through the MidWest and down south into Mexico. It’s about bringing theater and the arts directly to the people.

NEW ORLEANS, LA

Ashe Cultural Arts Center
www.ashecac.org

Ashe Cultural Arts Center’s mission is to serve as:

  • A community-based center for ReBuild New Orleans activities
  • A strong advocate for culture, community and justice principles in the ReBuild New Orleans effort
  • A leader in the strategy to re-populate the Central City neighborhood with it’s former residents, and other like-minded neighbors who will work with us to establish a community that respects the values of diversity, justice, cultural fabric, strong families, strong educational resources, youth development, and a robust economy available to all
  • A producer and presenter of multi-disciplinary cultural art works throughout the New Orleans Diaspora (Katrina evacuee locations) that inform and guide the consciousness of community, public policymakers, and business leaders about ReBuild New Orleans issues; and
  • Support and assistance for New Orleans artists and culture bearers in their efforts to resume their lives and careers

Crossroads Institute for Arts, Learning & Community
www.xroadsinstitute.org

Crossroads Project for Art, Learning & Community works with children, youth and adults throughout the United States to spread knowledge and build capacity regarding the use of the creative arts for learning and social change.

For the first five years, Crossroads Project was focused on completion of a ten-year effort to research, create and publish our seminal publication, Beginner’s Guide to Community-Based Arts (New Village Press, 2005).  Since then, we have focused on expanding use of the Beginner’s Guide as a resource for universities, schools and community organizations throughout the U.S. and the Americas, and developing a model program for at-risk youth in New Orleans that is based on the Guide.

Junebug Productions
http://www.junebugproductions.org/

The Mission of Junebug Productions is to create and present artwork of the highest quality that encourages and supports African Americans in the Black Belt South who are working to improve the quality of life available to themselves and others who are similarly oppressed and exploited.

Mondo Bizarro
www.mondobizarro.org

MONDO BIZARRO has been creating original, multidisciplinary art and fostering partnerships in local, national and international communities for the last seven years. We are a group of artists that have committed to labor as an ensemble over several years with the goal of establishing a body of work inspired by a particular set of commonly shared aesthetic and civic values. We are a collective of individuals that create, present and produce a wide array of imaginative projects aimed at utilizing art as a tool for understanding what makes us commonly human and individually unique. Our work is intentionally multidisciplinary, ranging from physical theater to large-scale community festivals; from social media to site-specific productions. Everything we do is fueled by the desire to develop brave new works of art that illuminate the beauty and travails of the human condition.

The Neighborhood Story Project
www.neighborhoodstoryproject.org

The Neighborhood Story Project is a book-making project based in the neighborhoods where we live and work.  Following our mission, “Our stories told by us,” we work with writers in neighborhoods around New Orleans to create books about their communities.

NOLA Playback Theatre
http://www.nolaplayback.org/

NOLA Playback Theatre recently emerged out of the crisis of Katrina and is an ensemble of local actors, theater directors, choreographers, dancers, writers, musicians, visual artists, social workers, and community activists that are dedicated to the revitalization of our area through the art form of Playback Theatre.

The Porch
www.theporch-7.com
The Porch is a community-based organization that is using the arts to affect social change. A grassroots organization instigated, post-Katrina, in New Orleans’ 7th Ward, the Porch serves the community bounded by St. Bernard Avenue, N. Claiborne Avenue, Elysian Fields Avenue and St. Claude Avenues. The Porch builds on cultural assets of the neighborhood, working in their community center at 1941 Pauger Street.

YA/YA (Young Aspirations/Young Artists)
www.yayainc.com

YA/YA’s mission is to empower creative young people to become successful adults. We do this by providing educational experiences in the arts and entrepreneurship to New Orleans-area youth, and by fostering and supporting their ambitions.

Young Audiences/Arts for Learning
www.ya4la.org

Young Audiences/Arts For Learning is a non-profit arts-in-education organization that serves approximately 200,000 school children in Louisiana each year. Music, Theater, Dance, Poetry and Storytelling and Visual Arts programs are developed to enhance and reinforce curriculum guidelines. Through participation, students gain knowledge to improve academic skills and foster an appreciation for the arts.

NEW YORK, NY

CITYarts
www.cityarts.org
CITYarts empowers children and youth by bringing them together with professional artists to create public art that addresses civic and social issues, impacts lives, and transforms their communities.

The City Kids Foundation
www.citykids.com
To empower urban young people, ages 13 to 19, through arts and educational
programs to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to
succeed in school, the workplace and in life.

City Lore
www.citylore.org
City Lore’s mission is to foster New York’s – and America’s – living cultural heritage.

Dance Theatre Etc.
www.dtetc.org
Premised on the belief that the arts are an effective vehicle for social transformation, Dance Theatre Etcetera unites artists and community members as co-creators in dynamic cultural activities. Through site-specific performances, festivals, parades, and performing arts and media education programs, Dance Theatre Etcetera stimulates the social imagination through acts of informed expression.

The Forum Project
www.theforumproject.org

The Forum Project (TFP) is a New York-based project of artist-advocates who work to offer methods through which individuals and communities can explore and understand the world, their community and their lives. TFP works through critical pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed techniques to offer opportunities for community dialogue.

The Moth
www.themoth.org
The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. It is a celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life, and the storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share it. At the center of each performance is, of course, the story – and The Moth’s directors work with each storyteller to find, shape and present it.

Story Corps
www.storycorps.org
Story Corps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

Urban Word
www.urbanwordnyc.org
Urban Word NYC believes that free self-expression – matured in an enhanced critical literacy environment – improves selfconfidence and strengthens educational achievement for NYC’s inner city youth. We promote active literacy, critical thought, and positive social dialogue across boundaries of age, race, class, gender, culture, and sexuality. Our many workshops are designed to enhance critical thinking skills, leadership, and to ignite a personal commitment to growth and learning which leads to heightened inschool performance, and greater interest in pursuing higher education.

PORTLAND, OR

Portland Story Theater
www.portlandstorytheater.com

Portland Story Theater delivers engaging, true stories for adult audiences. We are a grass-roots operation, building awareness and appreciation for narrative. Portland Story Theater provides a unique live theater experience where the artist and the audience are always making direct eye-to-eye contact. The honest, authentic story that unfolds between them has been called “raw, revealing, vulnerable,” by The Oregonian. Portland Story Theater’s groundbreaking work “keeps audiences entranced from start to finish.” (The Oregonian) We consistently hit emotional pay dirt, tapping into the age-old power of the spoken word tradition by empowering the imagination.

Portland Story Theater’s mission is to find the meaning in the mundane, and to illuminate the universal through personal narrative. We strive to make the narrative arts an integral part of Portland’s rich cultural identity.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls
www.girlsrockcamp.org

The Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls builds girls self-esteem through music creation and performance. Providing workshops and technical training, we create leadership opportunities, cultivate a supportive community of peers and mentors, and encourage social change and the development of life skills.

Miracle Theatre Group
http://www.milagro.org/
The Miracle Theatre Group offers you an experience unlike anything else around. See one show, and you’ll have crossed the border to another culture; see a whole season, and you’ll have traveled the globe. Where else can you see live performances of a play by Federico García Lorca in Spanish with English supertitles? Or observe Portland’s longest-running (and bilingual) Day of the Dead celebration? From Afro-Cuban dance theatre to Argentine novelas, from Golden Age classics to world premieres of new work, you’ll find that performances at El Centro Milagro are always vivacious and visually stunning. We believe in experimentation informed by tradition; thinking creatively and acting collaboratively; being irreverent but never irrelevant. We entertain; we give you pause to think, feel and imagine; and, through the cultural lens of latinidad, we embrace the full spectrum of humanity.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA

East Bay Center for the Performing Arts – Richmond, CA
www.eastbaycenter.org
East Bay Center for the Performing Arts engages youth and young adults in imagining and creating new worlds for themselves and new visions for their communities through the inspiration and discipline of rigorous training in world performance traditions.

La Peña – Berklee, CA
www.lapena.org
La Peña is a vibrant community cultural center with a national reputation and a global vision that promotes peace, social justice and cultural understanding through the arts, education and social action.

MACLA – San Jose, CA
www.maclaarte.org
MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana is an inclusive contemporary arts space grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience that incubates new visual, literary and performance art in order to engage people in civic dialogue and community transformation.

Somos Mayfair – San Jose, CA
www.somosmayfair.org
The mission of Somos Mayfair is to cultivate the dreams and power of the people of Mayfair through cultural activism, social services and community organizing. We are generations of immigrants, rooted in a vibrant community, who nurture healthy families and speak out for justice in Silicon Valley.

We are working toward the day when all people of Mayfair believe our barrio to be a place where beauty, power, and dignity flourish and Mayfair is extensively connected to the region, valued for our contributions to society and engaged with the broader movement for justice.

Teatro Vision – San Jose, CA
http://teatrovision.org/
Teatro Vision is a Chicano theater company that celebrates culture, nurtures community and inspires vision. Our art will move people to feel, think and act to create a better world.

SEATTLE, WA

The Mandala Center (Port Townshend, WA)
www.mandalaforchange.com
Founded in 1999, the Mandala Center is a multi-disciplinary education organization dedicated to community dialogue, social justice and societal transformation. Through experiential workshops, theatre performances, and other creative events, the Mandala Center invites people to be more awake and alive as well as empowered to take action toward a more just and joyous life for all people. The Mandala Center is also an international hub for the training and grassroots practice of Augusto Boal’s, Theatre of the Oppressed.

The Power of Hope
www.powerofhope.org

The Power of Hope unleashes the positive potential of youth through arts-centered intergenerational and multicultural programs that value self-awareness, leadership, community and social change.

Power of Hope’s model is based on:

  • Expanding our creativity
  • Learning from people different from ourselves
  • Learning from nature
  • Exploring our inner life
  • Identifying ways to take action on what we care about in the world

Youngstown Cultural Arts Center
www.youngstownarts.org

Youngstown Cultural Arts Center is an inclusive, contemporary multi-arts space based in the Delridge Neighborhood of Southwest Seattle that incubates and inspires new arts participants, art-makers and organizations from our multicultural, intergenerational communities in order to engage in civic dialogue and meaningful community transformation.

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